Milburn appointed to lead committee on draft charity law

Former health minister Alan Milburn has been appointed chair of the parliamentary committee that will scrutinise the forthcoming draft Charities Bill.

A joint committee of the Commons and House of Lords will examine the draft bill, which will be published later this month.

Milburn has championed a greater role for the voluntary sector in running public services, and supports the idea of a 'voluntary finance initiative' to give more secure funding for public service delivery by charities.

Also sitting on the all-party committee are Labour MPs George Foulkes and Sally Keeble; shadow economics spokesman Andrew Mitchell and Liberal Democrat culture spokesman Bob Russell.

Foulkes is a leading opponent of tax breaks for public schools, and said last year that he would look for a way of scrapping their charitable status in revised charity law.

Keeble, a former housing minister, is also sitting on a commission of enquiry set up by umbrella body Acevo, which is looking into the funding and legal aspects of voluntary sector delivery of public services.

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